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A Plain, between the British and Roman Camps.

Enter Posthumus, with a bloody Handkerchief.

Post. Yea, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee; for I wish'd

Thou shouldst be colour'd thus. You married ones,
If each of you would take this course, how many
Must murder wives much better than themselves,
For wrying but a little !—O, Pisanio!

Every good servant does not all commands:
No bond, but to do just ones.—Gods! if you
Should have ta'en vengeance on my faults, I never
Had liv'd to put on this: so had you saved
The noble Imogen to repent; and struck
Me,—wretch!- -more worth your vengeance.—
But Imogen is your own: Do your best wills,
And make me bless'd to obey:—I am brought hither
Among the Italian gentry, and to fight

Against my lady's kingdom: 'Tis enough

That, Britain, I have kill'd thy mistress; peace!

I'll give no wound to thee. Therefore, good Heavens, Hear patiently my purpose: I have conceal'd

My Italian weeds, under this semblance of

A Briton peasant: so I'll fight

Against the part I come with; so I'll die
For thee, O Imogen ! even for whom my life
Is, every breath, a death: and thus, unknown,
Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril
Myself I'll dedicate.
[Drums, Trumpets, &c.
Gods, put the strength o' the Leonati in me!
To shame the guise o' the world, I will begin
The fashion, less without, and more within.

[Drums, Trumpets, &c.-Exit.


The Field of Battle.


An Engagement between the Britons and the Romans— the Britons are repulsed.

Enter Posthumus and Iachimo, fighting.—Iachimo is disarmed.

Post. Or yield thee, Roman, or thou diest!
Iach. Peasant, behold my breast!

Post. No; take thy life, and mend it.

Iach. The heaviness and guilt within my bosom
Takes off my manhood: I have belied a lady,
The princess of this country, and the air on't
Revengingly enfeebles me; or could this carl,
A very drudge of nature's, have subdu'd me
In my profession? Knighthoods and honours, borne
As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn.

With Heaven against me, what is sword or shield?
My guilt, my guilt o'erpowers me, and I yield.

[Drums, Trumpets, &c.-Exit.

An Engagement between the Britons and the Romans, in which the Romans fly before BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS.

[blocks in formation]

Enter Pisanio and Second Lord.

2 Lord. This is a day turn'd strangely. Cam'st thou from where they made the stand? Pisanio. I did:

Though you, it seems, come from the fliers. 2 Lord. I did.

Pisanio. No blame be to you, sir; for all was lost,
But that the heavens fought: The king himself,
Of his wings destitute, the army broken,

And but the backs of Britons seen, all flying
Through a straight lane: the enemy full hearted,
Lolling the tongue with slaughtering, struck down
Some mortally, some slightly touch'd, some falling
Merely through fear; that the straight pass was

With dead men, hurt behind, and cowards living
To die with lengthen'd shame.

2 Lord. Where was this lane?

Pisanio. Close by the battle, ditch'd, and wall'd with turf;

Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier ;
(An honest one, I warrant ;)—athwart the lane,
He, with two striplings, (lads, more like to run
The country base, than to commit such slaughter),
Made good the passage; cry'd to the fliers, "Stand!
Or we are Romans, and will give you that

Like beasts, which you shun beastly; and may save,

But to look back in frown: stand, stand!"—These


2 Lord. Were there but three ?

Pisanio, There was a fourth man, in a poor rustic habit,

That stood the front with them. These matchless four,

Accommodated by the place, gilded pale looks;

Part, shame; part, spirit renew'd; that some, turn'd coward

But by example, 'gan to look

The way that they did, and to grin like lions.
Upon the pikes o' the hunters. Then began
A stop i' the chaser, a retire; anon,

A rout, confusion thick; and the event,
A victory for us.

2 Lord. This was strange chance.—

An old man, two boys, and a poor rustic!

Pisanio. Nay, do not wonder :—go with me, and


These wonders, sir, and join the general joy.

(Drums, Trumpets, &c.—Exeunt.

Scene v.

Another Part of the Forest.

Enter Posthumus.

Post. To-day, how many would have given their honours

To have sav'd their carcasses? took heel to do't,
And yet died too ?—I, in mine own woe charm'd,

Could not find death, where I did hear him groan; Nor feel him, where he struck.—

Well, I will find him:

No more a Briton, I have resumed again
The part I came in: Fight I will no more,
But yield me to the veriest hind, that shall
Once touch my shoulder. Great the slaughter is
On either side. For me, my ransom's death;
On either side I come to spend my breath;
Which neither here I'll keep, nor bear again,
But end it by some means for Imogen.



Cymbeline's Tent.

A Retreat sounded.

Cymbeline, Belarius, Guiderius, Arviragus, Pisanio, and British Soldiers, discovered.

Cym. Stand by my side,


you, whom the gods have

Preservers of my throne. Woe is my heart,

That the poor soldier, that so richly fought,

Whose rags shamed gilded arms, whose naked breast Stepp'd before targe of proof, cannot be found:

He shall be happy, that can find him, if

Our grace can make him so.

Bel. I never saw

Such noble fury in so poor a thing.

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